8 quirky facts about food and weight control

Tammy Ruggles

Just when you think you’ve heard the latest diet fads, tips, and tricks, another one comes along to add to the mix. For example:

— Back in the day, Lord Byron used apple cider vinegar with honey to help curb his appetite and lose weight, according to BBC.com. The fad made a comeback in the 50’s, and still makes dieting lists to try today.

— A recent study on mice by UC Berkeley that appeared in Cell Metabolism concluded that just smelling food can cause weight gain, since the sense of smell is directly related to how the body recognizes and stores fat. Now if they could just conduct a study on those who say they can gain weight just by looking at food.

— On the flip side, according to The Daily Mail, we can stay fitter just by thinking about exercise. Scientists studied top athletes using a mental imagery technique, and found that they performed better and had stronger muscles when they thought about what they were doing before they worked out. So next time you’re snacking with a movie and look over at your treadmill, imagine yourself walking five miles on it.

— LIVESTRONG.COM reports the many benefits of dark chocolate, from helping the body to digest food, to inhibiting insulin resistance, to giving our brains a boost of euphoria and energy. Having an ounce of dark chocolate three times a week is the recommended portion.

— The Center for Disease Control states that, starting in the twenties, men and women tend to gain 1-2 pounds each year.

— One of the best overall plans for long-term health and weight control, according to Harvard Medical School, is to eat as many vegetables as you can, opt for natural food instead of processed, make as many meals as you can at home versus going out to eat, and avoid sugar, trans fat, and refined flour

— 68 percent of a Hostess Twinkie is air. A coffee tree provides about 1 pound of coffee each year. A peanut isn’t a nut, it’s a legume. The almond is part of the peach family. Apples provide good morning energy.

— When it comes to extreme weight loss techniques, perhaps the tapeworm should be at the top of the list. This is the dangerous practice once proposed by Khloe Kardashian on her reality TV show to lose weight. The idea is that the tapeworm will eat the food that you consume. Dr. Ana Flisser, a tapeworm researcher and parasitologist, warns that malnutrition and anemia can occur from a tapeworm. Certain types of tapeworms can cause even more severe conditions such as digestive tract infections, seizures, fluid around the brain, and cognitive dysfunction.

Diet fads come and go, so it’s good to know that the old tried and true method of losing weight—a balanced diet and exercise—is the most effective way to maintain health and control weight.

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Tammy Ruggles